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Missouri police officer told to 'tone down your gayness' reaches $10 million settlement, gets promotion

Bullet Club

Member
Missouri police officer told to 'tone down your gayness' reaches $10 million settlement, gets promotion

Keith Wildhaber reached a settlement as the chief announced his retirement.



A gay Missouri police officer who won a "historic" $20 million judgment in a sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit alleging he was told to "tone down your gayness" by a police commission board member has reached a settlement with St. Louis County for half the amount a jury awarded him.

The settlement in the discrimination case filed by Lt. Keith Wildhaber was announced just hours after St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said he will retire.

"I think it's really important for those of us in St. Louis County to recognize this is a tough time for the county, but we have to recognize that discrimination isn't right. By settling this lawsuit, the county recognizes that what Lt. Wildhaber went though was not right," St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said at a news conference Monday evening.

Page said the county plans to sell bonds to cover the $10.25 million settlement it hammered out with Wildhaber and his attorneys.

According to the settlement papers filed Tuesday morning in a St. Louis County court, Wildhaber is to receive a little more than $6.4 million and his attorneys will get about $3.8 million.

Page said he hopes the county will recoup most of the settlement money through insurance.

"This lawsuit acknowledges what Lt. Wildhaber survived in the police department and lets us move forward as a county," Page said.

The county must pay Wildhaber and his attorneys $7 million within 60 days and the remainder of the settlement by Jan. 31, 2021, according to the settlement papers.

Prior to going to trial last year, Wildhaber and his lawyers offered to settle the case for $850,000 plus an immediate promotion of Wildhaber to lieutenant, according to a timeline of the case released by Page's office. Steve Stenger, the previous St. Louis County Executive, ignored the offer, according to the timeline.

Stenger was later indicted on federal charges in a pay-for-play scandal. He pleaded guilty in August to charges of bribery, mail fraud and depriving citizens of honest services of a public official and sentenced to 46 months in prison.

Following the October jury verdict in Wildhaber's case, Belmar promoted Wildhaber from sergeant to lieutenant. Belmar also created the police department's Diversity and Inclusion Unit and put Wildhaber in charge of it, Page said.

A St. Louis County Circuit Court jury sided with Wildhaber, awarding him $20 million in the suit he filed against St. Louis County, claiming he was passed over for promotions, discriminated against and retaliated against because of his sexual orientation.

Wildhaber claimed in his suit that while conducting a security check in 2014 on a restaurant owned by John Saracino, then a member of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners, he was allegedly told by Saracino that the police command staff "has a problem with your sexuality." Wildhaber claims Saracino went on to offer him advice on how to achieve his goal of getting promoted.

Wildhaber claimed that Saracino allegedly told him that if he wanted to get promoted, "you should tone down your gayness," states the lawsuit, filed in January 2017.

Saracino, who is no longer on the board, denied ever saying such a thing to Wildhaber.

Wildhaber claimed he was passed over multiple times for promotion despite having "a clean disciplinary history, excellent performance reviews, and a strong resume for being promoted," according to the suit.

The suit alleged that Wildhaber's superiors, namely Chief Belmar, refused to promote him "because he does not conform to the County's gender-based norms, expectations, and/or preferences."

Wildhaber's attorneys called the jury verdict "historic."

Belmar announced on Monday that he plans to retire in April, ending a 6-year tenure as chief and a 34-year career with the St. Louis County Police Department.

“It has been an honor to work with and for the women and men of the St. Louis County Police Department,” Belmar said in a statement. “The dedication, sacrifice, and bravery of those that work for this department is unmatched. The citizens and businesses of St. Louis County deserve nothing but the best, and I firmly believe they receive that from us every day.”

Page said the chief's retirement announcement had nothing to do with the Wildhaber discrimination case.

"The chief had confided in me even before I became county executive that he would consider retiring in 2020. So I think this has always been in his mind," said Page, who was elected County Executive in April 2019.

Source: ABC News

$10m! It's time to gay it up a bit, lads.



"Would you like fries with that"



"My name is Dr. Octor, it's time to check your prostate...yeah!"



"You've got a problem...vroom vroom..with your transmission..beep beep!"
 

Azurro

Member
Jesus, he gets 10 million just for being gay? Fuuuuck, can I have a gender fluid moment, wait until someone says something mean, cash in and then go back to my usual self? Could be a nice retirement plan. :p
 

AlteredForms

Gold Member
Awarded 10 million by being told not to attract unwanted attention to himself? Being an obvious homosexual in law enforcement is a bad move no matter how you cut it.
 

nush

Member
Jesus, he gets 10 million just for being gay? Fuuuuck, can I have a gender fluid moment, wait until someone says something mean, cash in and then go back to my usual self? Could be a nice retirement plan. :p

That's not an uncommon tactic right now in certain circles.
 

Elektro Demon

Shits and Giggles
Well, this is total bollocks.
They were right to tell him to tone down his gayness. There are certain work fields where is not desirable to be gay, whether you like it or not.
If a gang on the street knows that a certain officer that patrols the streets is gay, you know that they won't respect him or listen to what he says. Which will lead to conflicts that otherwise may not happen if that person is straight. Two guys in a cop car have to arrest a gang member. They come to arrest the dude and the dude they're supposed to be arresting is surrounded by his criminal peers. Them knowing one of the cops is gay could lead to resisting arrest and potentially a shootout. It's no joke. I'm not a homophobe but I think in certain proffesions "toning down gayness" is a perfectly reasonable request.
 
Well, this is total bollocks.
They were right to tell him to tone down his gayness. There are certain work fields where is not desirable to be gay, whether you like it or not.
If a gang on the street knows that a certain officer that patrols the streets is gay, you know that they won't respect him or listen to what he says. Which will lead to conflicts that otherwise may not happen if that person is straight. Two guys in a cop car have to arrest a gang member. They come to arrest the dude and the dude they're supposed to be arresting is surrounded by his criminal peers. Them knowing one of the cops is gay could lead to resisting arrest and potentially a shootout. It's no joke. I'm not a homophobe but I think in certain proffesions "toning down gayness" is a perfectly reasonable request.

Ok but what if the straight cop does all the talking...what happens then?
 
$10m seems a bit of a ridiculous payout for what should have been a sincere apology and covering the cost of legal fees/lost pay, but I would definitely have been pissed off and kicked up a stink if I'd been told to 'tone down my straightness'.
 
Well, this is total bollocks.
They were right to tell him to tone down his gayness. There are certain work fields where is not desirable to be gay, whether you like it or not.
If a gang on the street knows that a certain officer that patrols the streets is gay, you know that they won't respect him or listen to what he says. Which will lead to conflicts that otherwise may not happen if that person is straight. Two guys in a cop car have to arrest a gang member. They come to arrest the dude and the dude they're supposed to be arresting is surrounded by his criminal peers. Them knowing one of the cops is gay could lead to resisting arrest and potentially a shootout. It's no joke. I'm not a homophobe but I think in certain proffesions "toning down gayness" is a perfectly reasonable request.
How on earth did the Judges not see this? Corrupt justice system is what I'd say.
 
And yet, today, we have plenty of people being told to "Tone down your [immutable characteristic]" and to "Resist [immutable characteristic]".

I'm all for common-sense policies.
I'm 100% against double standards and protected classes.
 
$10m seems a bit of a ridiculous payout for what should have been a sincere apology and covering the cost of legal fees/lost pay, but I would definitely have been pissed off and kicked up a stink if I'd been told to 'tone down my straightness'.
Don't think you'd ever have that problem. I keed!
 

Thaedolus

Gold Member
Wow the fuckin hot takes in this thread...

“$10 million just for being gay?!”

Even if you just read the headlines that’s not what happened

“They were right to tell him to tone it down, if you’re too gay people are gonna resist arrest...”

Yes I’m sure when this Hank Schrader looking fucker comes rolling up the first thought anyone has is “no way I’m letting this queer take me down!”

Jesus Christ, get it together
 
"jenkins, come on in"
"Yes sir."
"Have a seat"
"..."(sits)
"Jenkins, we're a good, forward thinking, Christian community, and I'd like to just express our support for your.. decision"

Oh jeez -_-
 
Wow the fuckin hot takes in this thread...

“$10 million just for being gay?!”

Even if you just read the headlines that’s not what happened

“They were right to tell him to tone it down, if you’re too gay people are gonna resist arrest...”

Yes I’m sure when this Hank Schrader looking fucker comes rolling up the first thought anyone has is “no way I’m letting this queer take me down!”

Jesus Christ, get it together

It is funny that I can read the title of a thread and can envision the triggered hot takes before even opening it.
 
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zeorhymer

Member
I wouldn't be surprised if his fabulousness don't win him any friends in the precinct. And oh, this is in St. Louis? That place is almost as bad as Detroit or Baltimore both in crime and in radical politics.
 

cryptoadam

Banned
This was essentially the plot line of a South Park episode where Garrison wanted to get fired for being gay.

South Park once again predicting the future.
 

daveonezero

Member
Jesus, he gets 10 million just for being gay? Fuuuuck, can I have a gender fluid moment, wait until someone says something mean, cash in and then go back to my usual self? Could be a nice retirement plan. :p

Ones gender identification has nothing to do with sexual activity. Don't let this outrage movement and crazy identity politics get you confused.
From what I see this is a gay (sexual orientation/activities), Male (biological sex), man (gender) who had a problem with how his coworkers viewed his attraction to other men (gender) probably male (biological sex) .

My question is why would he want to go work for that organization? even after a promotion.
 
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Elginer

Member
I could be gay for 10 million. Just one time right? Then hammer female ass as a rich mofo lol. Of course I'd pitch. No catching.
 

Fbh

Gold Member
I have no problem with the case itself, but as with most court cases you hear about from the US I just find these massive payouts ridiculous.

Than again, if most of the money will come from insurance as opposed to taxpayer money then good for him. Enjoy the $10 millions!
 
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lil puff

Member
I have no problem with the case itself, but as with most court cases you hear about from the US I just find these massive payouts ridiculous.

Than again, if most of the money will come from insurance as opposed to taxpayer money then good for him. Enjoy the $10 millions!
It sounds more like it's to send a severe message that this kind of derogatory workplace remark, behavior standard is unacceptable.

I have no problem with these standards changing and the message being sent.
 

lil puff

Member
True. But this should have had disciplinary actions only, not millions over hurt feelings or anger, otherwise we’d all be billionaires by now.
"we" to me is a bit of a generalization or oversimplification, unless you're talking about lawsuits in the very standard or general sense. I think the point they are making is that this is an issue of particularly serious level of precedent over a normal daily lawsuit. Again, I don't agree with the numbers, but I guess the value is subjective depending on perspective.

I don't think it's a simple case of "oh he got 10 mil off that case, lets all sue each other for 10 mil!"
 

Blond

Banned
Well, this is total bollocks.
They were right to tell him to tone down his gayness. There are certain work fields where is not desirable to be gay, whether you like it or not.
If a gang on the street knows that a certain officer that patrols the streets is gay, you know that they won't respect him or listen to what he says. Which will lead to conflicts that otherwise may not happen if that person is straight. Two guys in a cop car have to arrest a gang member. They come to arrest the dude and the dude they're supposed to be arresting is surrounded by his criminal peers. Them knowing one of the cops is gay could lead to resisting arrest and potentially a shootout. It's no joke. I'm not a homophobe but I think in certain proffesions "toning down gayness" is a perfectly reasonable request.

Yeah because we all know this has stopped every assault and murder directed at cops.
 

Nester99

Member
$10mm is just wow.

Judges should decide civil awards not a jury. That’s how we do it in Canada. jurors are too emotional and punitive. This one change would help the litigation climate in the USA dramatically. A lawsuit should make you whole, not be a windfall.

Fire the fool who rejected the 850k settlement offer.
 

TTOOLL

Member
"Prior to going to trial last year, Wildhaber and his lawyers offered to settle the case for $850,000 plus an immediate promotion of Wildhaber to lieutenant, according to a timeline of the case released by Page's office. Steve Stenger, the previous St. Louis County Executive, ignored the offer, according to the timeline."


Ouch
 

Doom85

Member
What's with this ridiculous amounts of money people get, no wonder everybody wants to sue everybody in the us.

As a previous poster already stated, it's to make it clear the consequences are significant. If the fine is much smaller, then it doesn't send much of a message that this kind of discriminatory behavior is unacceptable in the work force. But $10 million, now that's a mother-fucking wake-up call.
 
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